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Lets do lunch said the HT and the union Reps!

Discussion in 'Workplace dilemmas' started by Oldgit61, Mar 26, 2010.

  1. It has been my experience that Union reps are as much self-serving little t#ssers as the middle management and so I am not suprised to see them cosying up in this way - after all, there's a job waiting for them in LEA HR, isn't there?
  2. becktonboy

    becktonboy New commenter

    as a non-t*ssing union rep in an area with a good union office I find the OP a bit disturbing but I guess there's rotten apples in many a barrel. In my experience schools tend to get the reps they deserve: someone should stand against this one when their term is up.
    Anyone whose ambition is to work in LA HR should be given the job immediately, just to get them out of the school.
  3. Torey

    Torey Occasional commenter

    I didn't like the relationship between my local rep and the head, so I got someone from head office to do it instead. She was brilliant.
  4. Back to the first post -- I wonder who paid for the lunch. (not)
  5. Some reps are good.
  6. Characterising all union reps in such a negative way is not only doing a disservice to a considerable number of volunteers, it also shows how uninformed some prejudiced cynics can be. As a fairly senior caseworker I would always be alive to opportunities to garner as much information as I could, although I personally would not be comfortable taking part in a lunch like this. An observer may draw their own conclusions, but does the OP have evidence that the union members trust or distrust the head? I agree it looks unseemly, but appearances can be deceptive. One way to proceed would be to raise this with the national office or a national executive member and ask them to investigate. This would be a perfectly legitimate question to raise, and doing so would ensure that the people concerned have to account for themselves.
  7. Lets also remember that the concept of union rep is wide-ranging. Some just act as a contact point between a local association and members in the school. Others take up formal training, for which there may be several levels, from helping to resolve disputes at a low level, and then on to casework and advocacy. Others may be trained in health & safety and other specialist areas, such as handling redundancies, working assertively and dignity at work. The key point is that reps are all unpaid volunteers. They are supported by full-time staff at local, regional and national level.
  8. Importantly, I have never characterised <u>all</u> union reps in any negative way. I know that they are often in a no win situation when dealing with bullying cases.

    In schools where there is a narcissistic / sociopathic bully in control, they will often find advantage in keeping the union rep on-side by presenting themselves to the rep as honest John, reasonable types -- gain their trust -- then abuse that trust. The rep might be totally unaware they are being used. Threads like this are intended to offer perspective to both reps who might not otherwise realise and people who go to these reps for support to be told that they are not actually being bullied atall.

    Bullies groom good, intellegent and well meaning people. Finally, it should be realised that some people put themselves forward as union rep as a stepping stone towards career advancemen. Some not <u>all </u>

    If unions were doing their jobs effectively, bullying of school staff would be much less of a problem.
  9. In a large school my union rep was the one person to whom I could turn when things got nasty. He was half my age (well, roughly!), but a good deal of wisdom and saw me through considerable unpleasantness. I was middle management and had no other support in school, though no doubt all the senior management convinced themselves otherwise.
    No-one is tarring all with the same brush and, yes, be cautious if unsure, but be grateful too if you have a good rep.
  10. I should say, no support from those who were senior to me.
  11. In times of conflict, many teachers rightly expect support from their unions. Sometimes the unions actually work against the interest of those they should be supporting. Some reps are knowingly or unknowingly controlled by the school management.

    It is unfortunate that in the schools where there workplace bullying issue, the unions are least effective. There is a lot of good info on this thread - please have a look.
  12. casper

    casper New commenter

    Sadly some of us know this only too well and have been let down.
  13. When half a dozen colleagues and i were made redundant, most of the 'effort' expended by my union was to help Wesleyan get hold of our redundancy cheques!
  14. Unions - read this and other threads on the subject so you understand the beast you're dealing with.

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